It’s 2018 and Peepers is turning 25 years old, and we’re looking forward to getting better with age. As we blow the candles out and wish for many more years to come, we’re reflecting on how we got here. Sammann Company goes back much further than 25 years, with a long and storied past that incorporates four generations of family ownership and operation and an evolution that made us the innovative and successful eyewear company we are today.
As the Peepers brand celebrates 25 wonderful years, we’d like to take a stroll down memory lane and share the journey that brought us here and helped us become a fun, creative, and customer-driven leader in the eyewear industry.
The Early Days
It all began just after the turn of the century with the establishment of the Sammann Company in 1908 by great-grandfather Paul E. Sammann, an entrepreneurial spirit with an eye for importation. He started out importing screen cloth and other hardware with operations based in Shanghai, China and Kobe, Japan.
In 1943, the entry of Japan into the theater of WWII forced him to close both Asian office and move the remnants of the operation to New York. Sadly, founder Paul E. Sammann succumbed to a heart attack shortly thereafter, but his legacy lived on thanks to his son, who purchased the company in 1944 and subsequently moved the operation to centrally-located Chicago. Shears and cutlery were added to the lineup of imports.
Passing the Torch
There were many good years after the war, but times change and businesses must adapt. In 1975, Sammann Company incorporated, and Paul N. Sammann, fresh off a turn as a Naval Aviator serving in the Vietnam war, purchased all of his father’s shares in the company and took over operations. Even so, it would be a decade before Sammann Company Incorporated entered the eyewear industry with the purchase of See Aid Optical in 1985.
The Birth of Peepers
Although the company had been in eyewear for a few years, it wasn’t until 1993 that the Peepers brand was truly born, and it all started with Paul’s wife, Terri Sammann. She was mightily disappointed in the selection of readers available at the time. All she could find were ugly, boring, and truly outmoded frames.
It was then that she hatched an idea to take readers to the next level with fashionable frames to complement ensembles and reflect personality. Her first design was a single frame style in six color options, but it was enough to kick off a new era for the erstwhile Sammann Company and give Terri the moniker “Mz. Peepers”.
Three years later, recognizing the role new computing technology would play in advancing the company, Paul Sammann jumped on the internet bandwagon, launching Peepers.com in 1996 to share his brand and products with the world.
A New Era
In 2012, brother and sister duo Alec and Lindsay Sammann took the helm to bring a fourth generation of leadership to the company now known as Peepers. Their dedication to innovative design and the high standards set by previous generations has paved the way for increasing success over the last several years.
In 2015, they revamped the company, adding 30 new desks to their 8-desk operation and making the leap to a 10,000-square-foot space. The same year, they overhauled Peepers.com to create a modern and user-friendly interface, complete with model photography on product pages.
In August of 2017, Peepers hit a major milestone, shipping their 500,000th order, and the company launched their line of one-of-a-kind, proprietary designs in 2018, solidifying their legacy in the fashion eyewear industry.
Today, Peepers enjoys the distinction of being named one of the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” for a second year in a row, thanks to commitment to supporting and uplifting employees that has led to exceptional job satisfaction. Peepers has also been honored with inclusion on the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies” list for the fifth year in a row.
As we celebrate 25 years of Peepers, we’re eagerly looking to the future, dreaming up fashionable and functional new eyewear solutions, and saying thanks to the incredible employees and customers who have elevated our brand and helped us become the success we are today.